Provost Search Update
Sent on Behalf of President Jill Tiefenthaler and Professor Carol Neel, Co-Chairs for the Provost Search Committee:
Dear Campus Community,
Welcome back from Winter Break. We hope everyone had a memorable and rejuvenating time away from campus.
We write here to update you on the status of the search for a provost, Colorado College’s chief academic officer. Our committee has met six times over the last five months to finalize the position description, review applicants’ materials, select candidates for a first round of interviews, and — this week — determine finalists. We are pleased to share with you that 175 people either applied or were nominated for this newly created position. Forty-two candidates were then identified as especially competitive; in keeping with last fall’s campus-wide discussions, all upper-tier candidates were individuals at the full professor rank with strong records of academic leadership, responsiveness to community concerns, and vision in liberal arts education.
In general, as you are aware, the college conducts interviews for all positions with broad community participation. Appointments at this level, however, are in universal contemporary practice conducted in full confidentiality; leading candidates expect and indeed require this assurance. Colorado College’s chief experience of a committee-driven, confidential hire was the presidential transition seven years ago. We have been encouraged by that successful model as we worked to fill the newly constructed provost role. In mid-December, our 15-member team of faculty, staff, one student, and one trustee invited the 10 most exciting among the many elite applicants for a first round of interviews at the Denver airport Westin hotel. Three of these individuals were women, four were people of color; five were natural scientists, and five trained as scholars in the humanities.
Before the Winter Break we chose five interviewees for in-depth referencing over the holiday. This week we have chosen four finalists for a second round of interviews on campus in early February. More of the Colorado College community — faculty, staff, students, and trustees — will be embraced in this final stage of the selection process, but it will remain confidential. In late-February, our search committee will meet again to review the comments of those invited to participate in this final round of conversations between potential provosts and our community, as well as to share our own further observations. Thereafter the search team will make a recommendation to President Tiefenthaler in the expectation that she will announce an appointment in March. We look forward to welcoming able, inspiring new leadership as, with you, we open a new chapter in the development of the college we together shape.
Jill Tiefenthaler and Carol Neel, Co-Chairs for the Provost Search Committee